Jon Landau, Producer of Avatar, Has Died at Age 63

Longtime film producer Jon Landau passed away at 63 years old. Per TheWrap, sources explained that he’d been battling cancer. Landau is best known for being the producer on a number of films at 20th Century Fox like the Avatar movies and Titanic.

Born July 30, 1960, he was the son of Ely and Edie Landau, who were film producers themselves. His first producer role was the 1987 film Campus Man from Paramount. By 1997, he became EP of feature film production for Fox, in turn making him a collaborator with James Cameron. The two have been a successful duo thanks to the aforementioned films, which became box office hits and awards darlings (Titanic was the first film to ever cross $1 billion worldwide), and some of the biggest movies of all time. He also produced 2002’s Solaris (directed by Steven Soderbergh), co-produced Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Dick Tracy, and oversaw Fox’s Power Rangers movie, True Lies, and Last of the Mohicans.

Landau became a steward of the Avatar franchise in recent years, and helped Cameron and Disney come up with the sequel movies and the Avatar theme park attractions. As COO of Lightstorm Entertainment, Landau led Avatar’s transmedia expansion into comics from Dark Horse and video games, including 2023’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora from Ubisoft.

io9 Senior Reporter Germain Lussier recalled being on the set of Alita Battle Angel (which Landau also produced) and being in awe of him. “He sat us down in a room and went over the whole movie with us,” Lussier recalled. “Even though it was already in production, it almost felt like he was pitching us on it. Explaining the story and why it meant so much to him. He was so assured and smart and articulate, I walked out of the room thinking two things. One – if the movie is half as good as that, it’s gonna be fantastic. And two – no wonder he’s one of the best producers in the world.”

At time of writing, Titanic star Frances Fisher was one of the first people to memorialize Landau on social media. Cameron has yet to say anything about his passing, but we’ll update when he does. Until then, we extend our condolences to Landau’s family and otheer loved ones.

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