Jon Landau, Longtime James Cameron Collaborator and Producer of ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar,’ Dead at 63

Jon Landau, the Oscar-winning producer behind “Titanic” and “Avatar” and a longtime collaborator of director James Cameron, is dead at 63.

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

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Some of Landau’s other credits include Steven Soderbergh’s 2002 remake of “Solaris” and Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel” from 2019. Landau, who was COO of Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment production banner, was also at work on producing the upcoming three “Avatar” sequels, the next of which is scheduled to arrive in 2025.

Landau was born in New York City in 1960 to Edythe and Ely Landau, film and TV producers and executives who worked with Sidney Lumet and John Frankenheimer. During a handprint ceremony in front of the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate the release of “Avatar: The Way of Water,” Landau shared how his parents nurtured his passion for cinema was developed from a young age.

“Being here today, it touches my heart,” he said at the event. “It makes me so thankful to my parents, who were producers in the film business, who exposed me to all the wonders the business has to offer and the power that movies can have to change people’s lives. To make them look at our world differently.”

He would continue his education at USC School of Cinematic Arts and eventually earn the position of Executive Vice President of Feature Film Production at 20th Century Fox during the early 1990s.

In 1997, Landau made his mark on film history, producing James Cameron’s epic romantic disaster film, “Titanic,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The film became the first ever to cross $1 billion at the box office, making it then highest grossing film of all time, and would go on to win 11 Academy-Awards, including Best Picture for Landau and Cameron. That record would later be broken by Cameron and Landau’s own “Avatar” from 2009, which was also nominated for Best Picture and won three Oscars.

In a post shared on the “Avatar” page on X, formerly known as Twitter, Cameron said of Landau’s passing, “The Avatar family grieves the loss of our friend and leader, Jon Landau. His zany humor, personal magnetism, great generosity of spirit and fierce will have held the center of our Avatar universe for almost two decades. His legacy is not just the films he produced, but the personal example he set — indomitable, caring, inclusive, tireless, insightful and utterly unique. He produced great films, not by wielding power but by spreading warmth and the joy of making cinema. He inspired us all to be and to bring our best, every day. I have lost a dear friend, and my closest collaborator of 31 years. A part of myself has been torn away.”

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