Jon Landau, the influential producer of monumental films like Titanic and Avatar, has died at the age of 63. Alan Bergman, Disney Entertainment’s co-chair, announced Landau’s passing on Saturday, though the cause of death was not provided.

“Jon was a visionary whose exceptional talent and passion brought some of the most unforgettable stories to the big screen,” Bergman said. “His contributions to the film industry are immense, and he will be deeply missed. Despite his iconic status as a producer, he was an even greater person and a true force of nature who inspired everyone around him.”

Making Cinematic History

Landau made history with the 1997 release of Titanic, the first film to earn over $1 billion worldwide. He surpassed this achievement with Avatar in 2009 and its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, in 2022.

Beginning his career in the 1980s as a production manager, Landau quickly rose through the ranks. His collaboration with James Cameron on Titanic led to 14 Oscar nominations and 11 wins, including Best Picture. Reflecting on his role, Landau once joked, “I can’t act, compose, or do visual effects. That’s why I produce,” during his acceptance speech with Cameron.

A Collaborative Legacy

Landau and Cameron’s partnership continued to thrive, with Landau becoming a top executive at Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. In 2009, Avatar, a sci-fi epic utilizing groundbreaking 3D technology, broke Titanic’s box-office record, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time. Its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, now ranks third.

Landau was crucial to the Avatar series, managing delays and supporting Cameron’s plans to film multiple sequels at once. “A lot has changed but a lot hasn’t,” Landau said in a 2022 interview, emphasizing the enduring need for escapism in entertainment.

Career Milestones and Personal Life

At 29, Landau became executive vice-president of feature films at 20th Century Fox, overseeing hits like Home Alone, its sequel, Mrs. Doubtfire, and True Lies, marking the beginning of his close work with Cameron.

Born on July 23, 1960, in New York, Landau was the son of film producers Ely and Edie Landau. Ely passed away in 1993, while Edie, an Oscar-nominated producer, died in 2022.

Jon Landau is survived by his wife, Julie Landau, and their two sons, Jamie and Jodie.