Where is Wilderness filmed? From bustling cities to deserted landscapes, a multitude of locations feature in Prime Video's latest thriller.
Jenna Coleman and Ashley Benson are just two of the big names featuring in Prime Video's Wilderness line up. Liv (Jenna Coleman) and Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) appear to have it all - on the outside. Happily married and living their best lives amongst the glamour of New York, everything is perfect until Liv discovers Will has been having an affair. In the aftermath of her life unravelling, Liv decides to plan the American road trip she’s been dreaming about. Will sees this as a chance to make amends, but Liv only has revenge on her mind...
With a plethora of different backdrops off-setting the action, viewers have been asking where Wilderness was filmed, and we have the full lowdown for you. For those who like to know where all the best TV shows were shot, we can reveal where similar crime thriller The Inheritance filmed , and it wasn't far from where psychological drama The Woman in The Wall filmed. Across the other side of the world, Netflix hit Virgin River filmed in some stunning locations, but they're quite a distance from where the show is set.
Where is Wilderness filmed?
Wilderness was filmed in Arizona, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, New York, Vancouver City, Squamish, Whistler Olympic Park, and Banff Springs Hotel.
Director So Yong Kim - speaking ahead of the WGA & SAG-AFTRA strikes - recalled that the first day of filming included the hiking sequence from episode 2, depicting a hike for the cast through Yosemite. The scenes showing Cara on a hanging bridge above a gushing river were actually filmed in a remote location just outside of Whistler. The team had to overcome adverse weather, and the noise of the river drowning out the actor's dialogue, but were all delighted with the final result.
Locations Manager Michael Farias identified filming in Banff, Alberta, as one of the highlights for him. "We were lucky enough to film at the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort," he said, continuing "Which offers such an amazing backdrop to the show."
He added "From there, we moved to Kananaskis, Alberta, which provided us with a dramatic mountain range and sprawling landscapes. Then off to Squamish for a wonderful white water rafting ride, Whistler for more beautiful landscapes, and then to Vancouver to showcase the beauty of the West Coast."
The locations manager spoke at length about sourcing locations that had to double up as somewhere else. He indicated that Calgary Airport doubled as JFK Airport, while the entrance to Yosemite Park acted as three different locations - Lynn Valley Park in North, Vancouver, Cal Cheak trail in Whistler and the Whistler Olympic Park.
Although some New York scenes were actually shot in the city, Gastown in Vancouver also doubled as one element of New York. Scenes filmed in The Meatpacking District - where Liv and Will live - used the real area, along with the actual Central Park, Upper West Side, and Battery Park featuring as themselves.
Viewers will also recognise the inimitable Las Vegas main strip in episode four, and filming inside the Grand Canyon was given the go ahead "Thanks to the generosity of the Hualapai Tribe," Farias said.
What is Wilderness based on?
Wilderness is based on the novel of the same name by B.E. Jones. First released in 2019, the novel has racked up hundreds of positive reviews online.
Director So Yong Kim has spoken at length of the reasons she felt drawn to the project, and why she always seeks out a personal connection with everything she attaches her name to. "I try to find that personal connection," she said, adding "With Wilderness, it was effortless and instantaneous."
She recalled being eight months pregnant and watching her husband take the trash can across the driveway while she waited in the car. She had the sudden image of what would happen should her foot ‘slip’ off the brake, and the car crushing him.
"Since then, I’ve joked about this with my husband and often blamed it on my pregnancy hormones," she said. "But the truth underneath is that there’s some primal rage that’s within me, and perhaps in other women as well. I felt this rage deeply and openly explored in this adaptation and writing of Wilderness. The writing is fearless in exploring women’s primal rage head-on and unabashedly."
Wilderness by B. E. Jones | £9.99 Amazon
Read the novel that inspired the major Prime Video series Wilderness, starring Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.
Jenna Coleman (The Serpent, The Sandman) as Liv
Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man, The Haunting of Hill House) as Will
Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars, Spring Breakers) as Cara
Eric Balfour (Charmed, The Offer) as Garth
Claire Rushbrook (Enola Holmes, Sherwood) as Caryl
Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us, This Is Us) as Detective Rawlings
Morgana Van Peebles (Superstition, You're Killing Me) as Ash
Jonathan Keltz (Entourage, Reign) as Detective Wiseman
Talia Balsam (Homeland, The Good Wife) as Bonnie
Crystal Balint (The Good Doctor, Prison Break) as Liana
Natalie Sharp (The Flash, Van Helsing) as Marissa
Geoff Gustafson (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Terror) as Zach
Jake Foy as (Designated Survivor, Ride) Anton
Speaking prior to the WGA & SAG-AFTRA strikes, Jenna Coleman weighed in on the character of Liv. The actress said, "Liv Taylor is a woman from Wales. We meet her at a point in her life where she’s experienced some kind of imposter syndrome. Her relationship with Will has some and the boundaries are quite blurred."
She added, "I think she’s been very self-protective in her life until she met Will. I think a lot of it has been about not expecting too much in the world. It’s a self-preservation tactic. She’s very witty and dry and uses humour as a defence weapon."
Oliver Jackson-Cohen described Will as "A down-the-middle English boarding school type who’s come from a very well-to-do family." Agreeing with Coleman that Liv and Will's relationship is "complicated," he added "As the show goes on, we realise that Will hasn’t been honest about everything he’s done. He’s in constant survival mode to try and preserve this relationship and marriage with Liv. All of this is linked to his past back home…his shame, and his not wanting to fail. It’s a juicy bunch of things at play."
Early reviews of Wilderness are mixed, with some critics impressed by the thriller, and others left a little underwhelmed.
Vicky Jessop from the Evening Standard offered 4 stars and a positive review. "The notable thing about this series is the sheer amount of twists it manages to pack in," she wrote, adding "In only two episodes, there are about four things that made my jaw shoot downwards, none of them expected. To say exactly what they are would be spoiling things, but if nothing else they’re guaranteed to make people keep watching."
Spandan Chatterjee from the Movie Culture was also impressed, adding "Wilderness possesses an experienced cast that are flawless in the series. Oliver Jackson-Cohen embodies the role of a foul-tempered, egoistic husband who aims to "fix things," but has multiple modes of escapism. Ashley Benson’s Cara character evokes hatred as well as sympathy, as she was trained to poach men from an early age. Side characters like Ash (the lovable same-sex friend), and Bonnie (Liv’s mother) give support to Olivia’s faltering morale, even at the cost of their emotional mindset."
However, Anita Singh from the Telegraph was less impressed. Annoyed by the inauthentic accents, she said "The biggest mystery is why the director allowed the cast to stick with the original premise, as laid out in the book, that Liv is Welsh. It means that Coleman and the actress playing her mum (Claire Rushbrook) attempt Welsh accents, with the results falling somewhere on the spectrum between ‘bless them for trying’ and ‘make it stop’. Michael Sheen was castigated for suggesting recently that only Welsh actors should play Welsh characters, but perhaps he’d seen an early preview of this."
For more information on filming locations, we can reveal where recent blockbuster The Little Mermaid filmed. Adam Sandler comedy You're So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah was filmed entirely in one area of Canada, and we look at exactly where. Our Heartstopper season 2 filming location guide covers everywhere the cast and crew were spotted shooting for the show's second outing.