School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

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Aaron Benay

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Affiliated Divisions:

John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television

Aaron Benay is a film and television writer who has scripted the next installment of Disney’s popular National Treasure franchise. Benay has also written 1906, a Great San Francisco Earthquake epic, with Brad Bird attached to direct for Warner Bros. and Pixar. And he scripted a tale about America’s first serial killer at the Chicago World’s Fair for Leonardo DiCaprio.

For DreamWorks in China, Benay adapted Journey to the West, one of the Four Great Classic Novels, reimagining the beloved Monkey King as a Marvel-style superhero.

In television, Benay has created futuristic crime series The Sector, for Ridley Scott and HBO. He also created Fear No Evil, a period Nazi-hunting series for director Mike Newell and FX.

Benay teaches undergraduate and graduate screenwriting at the School of Cinematic Arts. He is an expert in the American Film Showcase, USC’s film diplomacy collaboration with the US State Department.

Benay graduated with a B.A. in East Asian studies from Duke University. He also graduated from Stanford’s Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies and Inter-University Center in Yokohama.

Benay joined the Writers Guild of America in 2002 and is a member of their LGBTQ+ Committee. He also co-heads the Duke LGBTQ+ Network of Southern California and serves on the planning committee of Ivy Pride Alliance Los Angeles.