Jon Landau Remembered by James Cameron, Kate Winslet, Zoë Saldaña: ‘We Forged a Family’

James Cameron, Kate Winslet, Zoë Saldaña and others paid tribute to Jon Landau following his death on Saturday. Cameron, who began working with the producer after the two were introduced in the 1990s, said that while working on the first “Avatar” film they were “making up new physics as we went along” and “mastering a brand new methodology to tell stories.”

“Again Jon gave his all, and never lost faith that we were doing something extraordinary and that we would somehow prevail. In the process we not only made a film, we forged a family,” he added.

James Cameron, who worked in tandem with Landau on major projects like 1997’s “Titanic” and the “Avatar” films, delivered a lengthy statement in honor of his friend. “A great producer and a great human being has left us,” he began. “Jon Landau believed in the dream of cinema. He believed that a film is the ultimate human art form, and to make films you have to first be human yourself. He will be remembered as much for his vast generosity of spirit as for the movies themselves.”

The duo worked together for more than 30 years, Cameron continued, “and I never saw him downcast once. He led with a balance of humor and fierce will, and true joy in the work.”

Landau and Cameron were first introduced in 1993 when the former was “the suit” assigned to work on “True Lies.” Cameron explained, “In the midst of the logistical nightmare of that production we came to respect and enjoy each other. A bond forged in fire.” Cameron convinced Landau to leave Fox for the director’s own production company Lightstorm, and the two set about conquering blockbuster after blockbuster together.

“Jon was my right hand and I was his,” Cameron added. “In recent years we became a trapeze act… total interdependence, total trust, total synchronization. We became not only the closest of working partners, but the closest of friends.”

“Jon loved his work, and loved the people around him, the amazing team he had built,” Cameron said. “Every day was a joyful battle, against entropy — the chaos that threatens to unravel every human endeavor.”

“Titanic” star Kate Winslet told Deadline that Landau “was the kindest and best of men.” She continued, “He was a man who was rich with compassion and exceptional at supporting and nurturing teams of phenomenal creative people. His strength in life was knowing the importance of family, at home and at work. He was always full of smiles and gratitude. I can’t believe I am writing this, can’t believe he is gone.”

“Avatar” star Zoë Saldaña remembered Landau in a post shared on Instagram. She wrote, “Dear Jon, Words are hard to put together right now, your passing is hitting really hard. You are leaving us too soon, my thoughts are with you and your family right now. Your wisdom and support shaped so many of us in ways we will always be grateful for.”

“The memories we shared together will always hold a special place in my heart.
Your legacy will continue to inspire us and guide us in our journey. Rest in peace, dear Jon. You will be deeply missed.”

Landau’s sister Tina said he was the “best brother a girl could ever dream of” and tweeted, “My heart is broken but also bursting with pride and gratitude for his most extraordinary life, and the love and gifts he gave me — and all who knew him or his films.”

“Avatar” star Sam Worthington also commemorated Landau with a gentle reference to the franchise. He said in a statement, “Jon was all heart. He made everything and everyone he touched feel they could be better. He led with humor and strength, compassion and kindness. The People say all energy is borrowed and someday you have to give it back. I see you, Jon.”

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