Stand Up To Cancer: ‘Spider-Man’ and other movie stars’ personal motivation

Meriah Doty
Movie TalkSeptember 6, 2012

For the cast and crew of "The Amazing Spider-Man," Friday's upcoming star-studded "Stand Up To Cancer" telecast has extra meaning. The film's leading (real-life) couple Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield are SU2C ambassadors and honor the organization's founder, "Amazing Spider-Man" producer Laura Ziskin -- who lost her battle with cancer while working on the film in 2011. (Ziskin was a producer on four Spider-Man movies starting in 2002.)

Ziskin's achievements in Hollywood included executive producing the 1990 Julia Roberts, Richard Gere hit romantic comedy "Pretty Woman" as well as exec producing the Oscar-winning "As Good As It Gets" with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. After Ziskin died, SU2C posted the following on their website: "Though we shed tears from your absence in our lives, when we wipe them away we will remember what you have given us, we will see more clearly and our actions will be more deliberate than ever, as we stand up to cancer, as we challenge the status quo, as we dream our dream. ... Until one day, we can live in a world where everyone diagnosed with cancer can be a survivor, living long and healthy lives -- Until one day, we may tell our children's children, there was once a killer called cancer."

Garfield was seen wearing a SU2C shirt at a Spider-Man panel at last year's Comic-Con (pictured above) and by the time the film came out in July, Spider-Man-themed SU2C shirts -- from which profits benefit the cause -- were made available to the public. (Now, there are also "Star Wars"-themed SU2C shirts for movie fans.)

Like past years, a slew of film and television stars are slated to appear on the commercial-free telecast, which is airing simultaneously on all four major television networks as well a more than a dozen cable channels.

Gwyneth Paltrow, whose filmmaker father Bruce Paltrow died in 2002 from complications from oral cancer, serves as an executive producer of the upcoming event. Other stars to appear include Julia Roberts, cancer survivor Michael Douglas, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Justin Timberlake, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Seth Rogen, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet, Ray Romano, Felicity Huffman, Max Greenfield, Stacy Keibler, Maura Tierney, Rocco DiSpirito, Ethan Zohn, Olympic Gold Medalists Gabrielle Douglas, Missy Franklin and SU2C co-founder Katie Couric -- whose husband Jay Monahan died of colon cancer in 1998. And several more celebrities are expected to attend.

The SU2C telecast airs Friday, Sept. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET & PT).