Hollywood Stunned By Jon Landau Death, Salute His Vision And Monumental Achievements


The relaxation of a long holiday weekend was shattered today for many, as news spread of the death at 63 of producer Jon Landau.

Landau collaborated with James Cameron on such blockbuster films as Titanic and the Avatar franchise. Other credits included Solaris, Alita: Battle Angel directed by Robert Rodriguez, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Dick Tracy.

“Words are hard to put together right now, your passing is hitting really hard,” Avatar franchise star Zoe Saldaña wrote on Instagram next to photos with Landau. “Your wisdom and support shaped so many of us in ways we will always be grateful for…Your legacy will continue to inspire us and guide us in our journey. Rest in peace, dear Jon. You will be deeply missed.”

Titanic star Kate Winslet also remembered Landau.

“Jon Landau was the kindest and best of men,” she said. “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.”

Alan Bergman, co-chairman of Disney Entertainment, which produces Avatar, issued a statement on Landau’s death.

“Jon was a visionary whose extraordinary talent and passion brought some of the most unforgettable stories to life on the big screen. His remarkable contributions to the film industry have left an indelible mark, and he will be profoundly missed. He was an iconic and successful producer yet an even better person and a true force of nature who inspired all around him.

“Our thoughts are with Jon’s wife, Julie, and his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and screenwriter Fran Walsh, whose digital visual effects and animation company Wētā FX worked with Landau on the Avatar movies, also mourned him in a statement.

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“We speak for the entire Wētā FX team when we say we are devastated by the loss of Jon Landau,” they said. “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 and the Lightstorm Entertainment team.”

Said Joe Letteri, who won an Academy Award for his work on Avatar in his role as Senior Visual Effects Supervisor of Wētā FX, “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  Wētā 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.”

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