''It was different from a normal father-son relationship,'' Zanuck told me in our 2003 NYT interview." But I was able to patch everything up before my father died.''
Zanuck dealt with fathers in sons in many of the 40 movies he backed in a 50-year career. Among them are the Oscar-winners ''Jaws,'' ''The Sting," and ''Driving Miss Daisy." His son Dean discovered ''The Road to Perdition'' as a graphic novel. ''I see here a father-son thing that might appeal to you,'' Zanuck wrote to Steven Spielberg. Two days later Spielberg called to make the deal at DreamWorks.
Fox's co-chairman, Tom Rothman, brought Zanuck and Burton together for the remake of a Fox movie Zanuck had green-lighted as studio head in 1969, ''Planet of the Apes.'' (Zanuck even married Charlton Heston's co-star, the Fox contract player Linda Harrison.) When Zanuck first met Burton for breakfast at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the two men clicked.