In everyday life, people adaptively prepare for the future by simulating dynamic events about impending interactions with people, objects and locations. Previous research has consistently demonstrated that a distributed network of frontal–parietal–temporal brain regions supports this ubiquitous mental activity. Nonetheless, little is known about the manner in which specific regions of this network contribute to component features of future simulation. In two experiments, we used a functional magnetic resonance (fMR)-repetition suppression paradigm to demonstrate that distinct frontal–parietal–temporal regions are sensitive to processing the scenarios or what participants imagined was happening in an event (e.g. medial prefrontal, posterior cingulate, temporal–parietal and middle temporal cortices are sensitive to the scenarios associated with future social events), people (medial prefrontal cortex), objects (inferior frontal and premotor cortices) and locations (posterior cingulate/retrosplenial, parahippocampal and posterior parietal cortices) that typically constitute simulations of personal future events. This pattern of results demonstrates that the neural substrates of these component features of event simulations can be reliably identified in the context of a task that requires participants to simulate complex, everyday future experiences.