After the sad passing of Burt Reynolds, writer-director Quentin Tarantino was forced to recast Reynolds’ role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood since Reynolds hadn’t filmed his part before he passed. According to Variety, Tarantino is now turning to a previous collaborator by hiring Bruce Dern for the role. Tarantino and Dern previously worked together on Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.
Per Variety, “Reynolds was expected to play George Spahn, a canyon ranch owner who rented his land spread to Charles Manson and his followers. Many historical accounts said the ranch served as a headquarters of sorts, and was the site of Manson’s indoctrination for the wayward young people he convinced to do his bidding.” It sounds like a relatively minor role, but one that would have been a nice part for Reynolds, who hadn’t really done a movie the size of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood since The Dukes of Hazzard back in 2005. That’s not to diminish Dern, who I’m sure will give yet another terrific performance, but I’m sure we’ll all be wondering how Reynolds would have approached the part.
As we previously reported, film takes place in 1969 and follows a fading Western TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) who wonder where their place in Hollywood is at the turn of the decade. Additionally, DiCaprio’s character lives next door to Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), who was brutally murdered by Manson’s followers.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens July 26, 2019 and the expansive cast also includes Lena Dunham, Maya Hawke, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Luke Perry, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden, Clifton Collins, Keith Jefferson, Emile Hirsch, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Scoot McNairy, Al Pacino, and Nicholas Hammond, among others.