Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

release date 07/26/19
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September 27, 2018 at 02:56 PM EDT

Quentin Tarantino is turning to a familiar face to replace the late Burt Reynolds in his next film.

The Hateful Eight star Bruce Dern is taking over the role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood vacated by the death of his long-time friend, EW has confirmed.

Before his death earlier this month, Reynolds had been set to star as George Spahn, the blind rancher who owned the property that Charles Manson and his followers were living on when they hatched their most infamous murders.

Mark Davis/Getty Images; Noam Galai/Getty Images

While the film, which stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, had already begun filming, Reynolds had not yet started work on the project. Dern’s casting in Once Upon a Time was made possible by the director and producers of Remember Me allowing him to leave the film’s production in Spain early.

Reynolds and Dern worked together multiple times over their illustrious careers, dating all the way back to the 1965 TV series 12 O’Clock High, and more recently on the 2003 TV movie Hard Ground, in which Reynolds directed Dern.

Set for release on July 26, 2019, Tarantino’s ninth film takes place in 1969 Los Angeles, where onetime TV star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) make their way in an industry they hardly recognize anymore. Although, one person they do recognize is Rick’s next-door neighbor: Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie).

Deadline first reported Dern’s involvement.

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