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Jon Landau, Oscar-winning Titanic and Avatar producer, dead at 63

Jon Landau red carpet
Super Hollywood producer Jon Landau has died at age 63. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Landmark-Media

Jon Landau, the Oscar-winning film producer known for collaborating with James Cameron on iconic films such as Titanic and the Avatar franchise, died on Friday at age 63.

The Hollywood produced died after a battle with cancer, according to Variety.

“Jon was a visionary whose extraordinary talent and passion brought some of the most unforgettable stories to life on the big screen,” Disney Entertainment co-chair Alan Bergman said in a statement. 

Bergman noted that Landau was not only an iconic and successful producer but also a remarkable person who inspired those around him. During this difficult time, he extended condolences to Landau’s wife, Julie, and his family and loved ones.

Born on July 30, 1960, in New York, New York, to producers Ely and Edie Landau, Jon Landau credited his parents with teaching him the skills needed to succeed in the industry. 

He attended USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and began his career as a production manager on films such as 1985’s Key Exchange and the 1986 films F/X and Manhunter.

Jon Landau made history as a producer with Titanic

Landau produced Disney’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Dick Tracy before becoming executive vice president of feature productions at 20th Century Fox at only 29. 

During his tenure in the 1990s, he produced the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, winning an Academy Award for Best Picture. Titanic made history as the first film to reach $1 billion at the box office. Landau also won two Golden Globes for Titanic and Avatar.

His tenure at 20th Century Fox included overseeing hit  movies such as Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, Speed, Waiting to Exhale, Die Hard 2, and The Last of the Mohicans 

Jon Landau was working on the Avatar sequels with James Cameron

His collaboration with James Cameron began with True Lies, eventually leading to their partnership on Titanic and in the Avatar franchise.

In recent years, Landau played a crucial role in expanding the Avatar universe, working with Cameron and Disney on the Avatar attractions at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and producing the sequels. 

He was also COO of Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and produced 2019’s Alita: Battle Angel and Avatar: The Way of Water, the first of four planned sequels, which was released in 2022, grossing over $2.3 billion worldwide. 

According to The Wrap, Landau was set to produce all four sequels, with Avatar 3 and parts of Avatar 4 already filmed and the fifth movie yet to be shot. Disney’s 20th Century Studios is scheduled to release Avatar 3 in December 2025.

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