Avatar and Titanic Producer Jon Landau Dies at 63

Jon Landau, the visionary producer who brought to life some of cinema’s most beloved blockbusters like “Titanic” or “Avatar”, passed away on July 5th at the age of 63. In addition, after a courageous 16-month battle with cancer, the industry mourns the loss of a giant.

The Oscar-winning producer of famous movies like Avatar, Titanic, and Alita: Battle Angel, Jon Landau has passed away. He died on Friday in Los Angeles after fighting cancer for 16 months.

Landau’s sister Tina shared the sad news on X, formerly known as Twitter. She wrote, “The best brother a girl could ever dream of — my brother Jon — has passed away. My heart is broken but also bursting with pride and gratitude for his most extraordinary life, and the love and gifts he gave me — and all who knew him or his films.”

Jon Landau was born in New York on July 23, 1960. His parents were also in the movie business. They produced films like Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh. With Hollywood in his blood, Landau loved movies from a young age and studied at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, graduating in 1983.

Landau started his career doing small jobs on movie sets but soon made a name for himself. He worked on films like Beat Street, Key Exchange, F/X, and Manhunter. By the late 1980s, he had produced his first film, Campus Man, and worked on hits like Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, and Dick Tracy. In 1989, Landau became the executive vice president of feature film production at Twentieth Century Fox, helping produce movies like Home Alone, Die Hard 2, and Mrs. Doubtfire.

In 1993, Landau met director James Cameron while working on True Lies. They formed a strong partnership, which led Landau to join Cameron’s company, Lightstorm Entertainment. Together, they made Titanic, which won 11 Oscars and was the first movie to earn over a billion dollars. They later made Avatar, which became the highest-grossing movie ever at that time.

Landau continued to work with Cameron on Avatar sequels and other projects. He also helped create Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World. At the time of his passing, he was working on future Avatar movies.

James Cameron paid tribute to his friend on Instagram, calling him “indomitable, caring, inclusive, tireless, insightful and utterly unique.” Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in Titanic, remembered Landau as a “kind, wise, and empathetic soul.” Zoe Saldana from Avatar also expressed her gratitude for his wisdom and support.

Jon Landau leaves behind a legacy of groundbreaking films and a deep love for cinema. He is survived by his wife Julie, their sons Jamie and Jodie, and his two sisters and brother. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

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