You Can’t Run Forever: All Shooting Locations Explored

‘You Can’t Run Forever ‘ is an intense thriller film starring J.K. Simmons as a murderous maniac who leaves a trail of victims as he pursues his target, Miranda (Isabelle Anaya), a young woman battling severe anxiety due to a tragedy. A cat-and-mouse chase ensues between them as Miranda struggles to trigger her inner strength to survive. The film marks a rare villainous portrayal by Simmons, who also won an Academy Award for his menacing drum teacher in ‘Whiplash.’

A family affair for Simmons, the thriller film is directed by his wife Michelle Schumacher, co-stars the couple’s daughter Olivia Simmons and is composed by their son Joe Simmons. Additionally, Schumacher co-wrote the screenplay with Carolyn Carpenter, while her brother Randall served as the producer under the siblings’ banner, Rubber Tree Productions. In addition to Simmons’ dark outing, the violence and suspense depicted in ‘You Can’t Run Forever’ are further heightened by its locations that seem to be trapping Miranda even further.

Where Was You Can’t Run Forever Filmed?

‘You Can’t Run Forever’ was primarily shot in Montana with some additional photography in Pennsylvania. Principal photography commenced in September 2021 and wrapped in the same month. Several reshoots took place in January 2023. Actress Parker Fenady, who appears in the supporting role of Parker, shared some behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram that involve a staircase in a house, which plays a significant role in the movie.

Missoula, Montana

The production team of  ‘You Can’t Run Forever’ established a one-month filming schedule and set up camp in several locations in and around the city of Missoula in the western part of Montana. Most of the filming occurred outside in the Lolo National Forest. The tall hills of Scapegoat Wilderness amidst the Rocky Mountains served as a perfect backdrop for delivering a horror touch to the tense narrative. Some of the film’s most scenic shots feature the Blackfoot River, raising its cinematic appeal.

The serial killer movie contains extensive chase sequences as Simmons’ villain, Wade, hunts Miranda. Shooting of many such sequences was carried out in the labyrinthine woods of Montana, a reason behind the film’s former title, ‘The Woods.’ A local house was used to fill the interiors of Miranda and her mother’s (Fernanda Urrejola) family home. Exterior shots of suburban homes were recorded in the city.

Simmons, who spent his youth in the city, talked about his sentimental thoughts in an interview with Moviefone. “It felt like a family vacation in a way, especially because we were shooting in Missoula, Montana, which is where my last stop growing up was and where my parents retired and lived out their days. So, there’s a lot of fond memories there,” he remarked. Simmons also spoke highly of his family, who were all managing the work of several crew members, finding the production process to be highly demanding.

In the chilling opening scene of the film, we see Wade killing a man for yelling. The scene takes place at a gas station, which is seemingly situated in Montana. A similar fate follows Eddie on a highway, leaving Miranda no choice but to head into the woods. From what we can tell, the team shot the sequence in the middle of a highway in the Big Sky Country.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Franklin and Marshall College in You Can't Run Forever (2024)

Some of the movie’s exterior shots were recorded at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Located at 637 College Avenue, the historical campus was shot aerially, serving as the backdrop for Simmons’ character Wade, a professor at the University of Montana. Ironically, the actor’s father had been a part of the institute’s faculty, serving as the director of The School of Music. The actor, too, had attended the school, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the same stream. He is also a member of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Therefore, it makes sense why the location served as one of the filming sites for the film.

Read More: Is You Can’t Run Forever a True Story?