Titanic and Avatar producer Jon Landau remembered as ‘monumental figure’

Sir Peter Jackson has remembered Titanic and Avatar producer Jon Landau as “a monumental figure in the film industry” following his death at the age of 63.

Landau was the long-time producing partner of James Cameron and was chief operating officer of his production company Lightstorm Entertainment.

He is credited with helping to make history as the producer of three of the top four highest-grossing movies of all time.

A statement from Lord Of The Rings director Sir Peter and his wife Fran Walsh, whose Weta FX company was the visual effects house for the Avatar films, said: “We speak for the entire Weta FX team when we say we are devastated by the loss of Jon Landau.

“Jon was not only a monumental figure in the film industry but also a cherished collaborator and friend.

“Jon brought unparalleled passion to the projects he worked on and his influence will continue to inspire for years to come. Our deepest condolences are with Jon’s family and loved ones, as well as Jim (Cameron) and the Lightstorm Entertainment team.”

Titanic, released in 1997 and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, was the first film to cross the one-billion dollar (£781,500,000) threshold at the global box office.

Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar and 2022 sequel Avatar: The Way Of Water went on to top Titanic’s box office haul.

Joe Letteri, who was the visual effects supervisor on the Avatar films, said: “I am heartbroken at the loss of our friend Jon Landau.

“He was an amazing and generous man, and a world-class film-maker who leaves a legacy that will last for generations.

“On behalf of all of us at Weta FX, it was an honour to work beside him. His dedication to the art of film-making inspired us every day. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

Landau’s career in Hollywood spanned decades and he co-produced hits such as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Dick Tracy.

In the 1990s he served as executive vice president of feature film production at 20th Century Fox, where he oversaw major productions including Die Hard 2, The Last Of The Mohicans and True Lies.