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Oscar-Winning Producer Jon Landau, Known for ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’, Dies at 63

Jon Landau attends the 34th Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., February 25, 2023. REUTERS/Aude Guerrucci

Jon Landau, an Oscar-winning producer who collaborated closely with director James Cameron on some of the biggest blockbuster films of all time, has passed away at the age of 63. Landau’s family announced his death on Saturday, though the cause was not disclosed.

Landau’s partnership with Cameron spanned over three decades and resulted in three Oscar nominations and a best picture win for the 1997 epic “Titanic.” Together, the duo was responsible for creating some of the most commercially successful movies in history, including the original “Avatar” and its recent sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water.”


In a statement, Cameron mourned the loss of “a dear friend, and my closest collaborator of 31 years.” He praised Landau’s “zany humor, personal magnetism, great generosity of spirit and fierce will” that had been central to the “Avatar” universe for nearly two decades.

Landau’s career began in the 1980s as a production manager, and he gradually rose through the ranks, serving as a co-producer on films like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and “Dick Tracy.” His big break came when he took on the producer role for “Titanic,” Cameron’s expensive maritime disaster drama. The gamble paid off, as the film became the first to cross $1 billion in global box-office earnings and won 11 Oscars, including best picture.


Landau’s partnership with Cameron continued, with him becoming a top executive at the director’s Lightstorm Entertainment. In 2009, they witnessed the massive success of “Avatar,” which surpassed the box-office performance of “Titanic” and remains the highest-grossing film of all time. Landau was instrumental in the development of the “Avatar” franchise, defending the progress of the sequels and Cameron’s ambitious plans to film multiple installments simultaneously.

Tributes poured in from the “Avatar” cast and crew, with Zoe Saldaña expressing gratitude for Landau’s “wisdom and support” that “shaped so many of us in ways we will always be grateful for.” Disney Entertainment co-chairman Alan Bergman also praised Landau as a “visionary” whose “remarkable contributions to the film industry have left an indelible mark.”

Landau’s legacy as a producer who helped bring some of the most groundbreaking and commercially successful films to the big screen will undoubtedly continue to inspire and influence the industry for years to come.



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