‘Avatar’ Producer Jon Landau Dies at 63, James Cameron Pens Tribute to Late Collaborator | James Cameron, Jon Landau, RIP | Just Jared: Celebrity News and Gossip

James Cameron is paying tribute to his longtime friend and collaborator Jon Landau.

The Academy Award-winning producer, most well known for the Avatar movies, as well as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Alita: Battle Angel and Titanic, passed away at the age of 63 on Friday (July 5), his son Jamie Landau confirmed to THR.

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Jon passed away after a 16-month long battle with cancer, according to a Disney spokesperson.

Following the loss of his friend and longtime collaborator, James Cameron shared an emotional tribute to the late producer.

“A great producer and a great human being has left us. Jon Landau believed in the dream of cinema. He believed that 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,” he shared in a statement with THR.

“I worked with Jon Landau for 31 years and I never saw him downcast once,” James went on. “He led with a balance of humor and fierce will, and true joy in the work. When I met him, he was the studio ‘suit’ assigned to oversee True Lies in ’93. In the midst of the logistical nightmare of that production we came to respect and enjoy each other. A bond forged in fire. I lured him away from Fox to join my production company, Lightstorm [Entertainment] and together we then tackled Titanic, a production as ambitious and seemingly ill-fated as the ship itself. Jon bore the brunt of the studio pressure and gave his all to provide the time and resources for me to make the film I saw in my head. From that we became brothers in arms. We believed we could solve any production problem. The next mountain we climbed was Avatar, a production that more resembled the Manhattan Project… making up new physics as we went along. 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. Jon was the heart of the Avatar family, with his humor, generosity and enormous capacity to make people feel valued and ‘seen.’ He gave everyone a sense of purpose and belonging. And this continued through the making of the sequels. It is impossible to convey how much our tight knit group will miss this man, this force of nature… the center of gravity of our little bubble universe. Jon created a community, a family, on Avatar and at Lightstorm, but not at the expense of his own family, who were always his highest priority.”

He continued, “Jon was my right hand and I was his. 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. My last message to him was not only that I loved him but that I missed our daily dialogue. We would talk twenty times a day, usually in his office which he placed strategically between mine and the set. Solving every problem that came along. Jon had the strength to tell me when I was wrong, and I learned over the years to trust that he was right. Jon loved his work, and loved the people around him, the amazing team he had built. Every day was joyful battle, against entropy — the chaos that threatens to unravel every human endeavor. The center always held, under Jon’s watchful eye. We fought through the pandemic together to deliver Avatar: The Way of Water. Together, we thought we could solve anything. But you can’t solve the fragility of life itself. I am grateful for every year, every day, every minute we had together. I am grateful for the belief he had in me and what his partnership allowed us to accomplish together. A part of myself has been torn away. But the amazing team he assembled and led still remains, and we will dedicate ourselves to fulfilling Jon’s legacy. Not just the films yet to come, but the love and connection that binds the Avatar and Lightstorm family together.”

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Jon Landau‘s family and loved ones during this time. RIP.

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