Jon Landau, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’ Producer, Dead at 63

Jon Landau, the film producer behind box office hits such as 1997’s Titanic and 2009’s Avatar, has died. He was 63.

Landau’s son confirmed the Oscar winner’s death with The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday, July 6. Details regarding Landau’s cause and time of death were not immediately available.

Director and screenwriter Peter Jackson told Variety in a joint statement with producer and screenwriter Fran Walsh that they and the rest of their visual effects company Wētā FX were “devastated” by Landau’s passing. Their company had worked with Landau over the years for the Avatar movies created by James Cameron.

“Jon was not only a monumental figure in the film industry but also a cherished collaborator and friend,” their Saturday statement said. “Jon brought unparalleled passion to the projects he worked on and his influence will continue to inspire for years to come. Our deepest condolences are with Jon’s family and loved ones, as well as Jim and the Lightstorm Entertainment team.”

Disney Entertainment’s co-chairman, Alan Bergman, also remembered Landau as “a visionary whose extraordinary talent and passion brought some of the most unforgettable stories to life on the big screen” in a statement shared with The Associated Press on Saturday.

“His remarkable contributions to the film industry have left an indelible mark, and he will be profoundly missed,” Bergman’s statement said. "He was an iconic and successful producer yet an even better person and a true force of nature who inspired all around him.”

Landau was born to movie producers on July 23, 1960, in New York. He earned early co-production credits on 1989’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and 1990’s Dick Tracy and was climbing the studio ranks when he joined forces with Cameron for Titanic. Their film went on to become a huge box office success, setting records that they themselves later broke with the release of Avatar in 2009.

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