Laura Ziskin has a tough job — and not just as one of Hollywood's most successful producers.
Ziskin, a breast cancer survivor who produced the Spider-Man trilogy, Pretty Woman and the Academy Awards — twice — also co-created Stand Up to Cancer, a special that has to engage audiences while dealing with one of the most sensitive subjects imaginable.
"I joke that I have to make cancer entertaining," Ziskin tells TVGuide.com. "It's a tough challenge, but I'm up for it. And I can promise you our show will be entertaining."
Stand Up To Cancer fundraiser returning in September
Friday's telethon will focus on survivors — including celebrities who haven't spoken out before about their own experiences.
"I think you'll be surprised to see who some of these survivors are because some of them are celebrities who haven't spoken publicly about their cancer," Ziskin says. "I think there's something in seeing that. That's why Lance Armstrong is such a hero for everybody. We can look at him and say, 'He made it.' I think that's going to be a powerful message. There's a lot more music. The show's going to be fun."
Among those committed to appear are Armstrong, George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Fran Drescher, Elizabeth Edwards, Michael C. Hall, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sharon Osbourne, Robin Roberts, Sofia Vergara, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Ethan Zohn, Christina Applegate and Maura Tierney.