Bruce Dern is stepping into Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood following the death of Burt Reynolds.
Dern will play George Spahn, the real-life rancher who owned the ranch where Charles Manson and his followers lived in the late 1960s, Talkies Network has confirmed. Dern has previously worked with Tarantino in his 2015 Western The Hateful Eight.
Tarantino is writing and directing the film, which takes place in 1969 and chronicles the life of former TV star named Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as they navigate an industry they barely recognize.
Dern and Reynolds were longtime friends and worked together multiple times, including the 2003 TV film Hard Ground, and an episode of the 1960s TV series 12 O’Clock High. Dern, a two-time Oscar nominee, is currently filming the feature Remember Me in Spain and will be allowed to leave early to film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Reynolds was plotting a third comeback with a role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and attended a table read in June with stars Pitt, DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Kurt Russell. He sadly passed away on Sept. 6 before he began filming on the project.
David Heyman, Tarantino, and Shannon McIntosh are producing the film, which Sony will release July 26, 2019.