Producer Jon Landau, known for ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar,’ dies at 63, according to reports

Jon Landau, an Oscar-winning film producer known for his work on several of the highest-grossing films of all time, died on Friday, July 5, according to multiple outlets including Deadline. Variety and The Hollywood ReporterHe was 63 years old.

Variety Landau’s cause of death was reported to be cancer. No further details were provided.

A close collaborator of James Cameron, the Brooklyn, New York native produced Titanicas well as both Avatar and its 2022 sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water — three of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Landau also served as COO of Cameron’s production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, for Variety and The thrAt Lightstorm, the duo produced films, including 2002’s Solaris and 2019 Alita: Battle Angeland they were planning the future of the Avatar franchise.

Jon Landau (left) and James Cameron in 2023.

Albert L. Ortega/Getty

Prior to working with Cameron, Landau was executive vice president of feature film production at 20th Century Fox, VarietyDuring his time at the company, he oversaw films including Die Hard 2, Mrs. Doubtfire and Forest ranger.

After returning to production in 1997 with TitanicLandau helped Cameron, 69, make history with the drama, which became the first film to surpass $1 billion at the global box office. The three-hour film also won a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The record was previously held by Ben Hurand was again equalled by the one in 2003. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Jon Landau in 2023.

Nicole/Getty unique

When Cameron showed Landau an early draft of the film starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, the late producer said he “fell in love with it,” according to The thr“It wasn’t just the script but the idea that this might be the last time you make an epic movie, the old-fashioned way, with hundreds and hundreds of extras, that’s not digital,” Landau said of the project.

In a 2022 interview about The path of waterLandau said The thr that he had “seen an evolution” in Cameron since their careers first intertwined, and the director interjected mid-conversation to say, “Did he tell you that we’re like an old married couple?”

“I don’t want to say nice things in front of him, it would go to his head, but I feel like there’s no problem we can’t resolve,” Cameron added of their long-standing partnership.

Titanic Star Frances Fisher shared a tribute to Landau on July 6. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) in response to a request for a Alita: Battle Angel sequel, Fisher wrote: “Rest in peace, Jon.”

From left to right: Jodie Landau, Julie Landau, Jon Landau and Jamie Landau in 2023.

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty

Filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, whose company Wētā FX provided the visual effects for the Avatar films, also shared a statement following Landau’s death.

“We speak on behalf of the entire Wētā FX team when we say we are devastated by the loss of Jon Landau,” the statement read. Variety“Jon was not only a monumental figure in the film industry, but also a dear collaborator and friend. Jon brought unparalleled passion to the projects he worked on and his influence will continue to inspire us for many years to come.”

“Our deepest condolences go out to Jon’s family and loved ones, as well as to Jim and the team at Lightstorm Entertainment,” the statement concluded.

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Landau is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Julie, and two children, Jamie and Jodie, by VarietyHe is also survived by his siblings, Tina, Kathy and Les Landau.