September 06, 2018 05:51 PM

Burt Reynolds will not appear in Quentin Tarantino‘s next film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, despite his casting.

Following news of the actor’s death on Thursday, Reynolds’ niece Nancy Lee Hess revealed that he had not yet started filming on the anticipated production.

“My uncle was looking forward to working with Quentin Tarantino, and the amazing cast that was assembled,” Lee Hess said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

A source confirms to PEOPLE that Reynolds had not yet begun filming his role.

The actor was slated to begin shooting within weeks, a source told The Hollywood Reporter.

Steve Granitz/WireImage; Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Reynolds died at Jupiter Medical in Florida, according to manager Erik Kritzer. The mustachioed megastar was 82.

RELATED: Gunsmoke, The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit and More of Burt Reynolds’ Most Iconic Roles

“Very lucky to have met the man, the myth, the legend, Burt Reynolds. RIP,” costar Dakota Fanning, who plays Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme in the film, shared on her Instagram Story Thursday.

Nearly four months before his death, Reynolds was cast 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, including the Aug. 9, 1969, killing of actress Sharon Tate, who was more than eight months pregnant with her child with director Roman Polanski.

RELATED: A Look Inside Quentin Tarantino’s Movie About Sharon Tate That Stars Brad Pitt & Margot Robbie

Burt Reynolds
Noam Galai/Getty

Brad PittLeonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, who plays Tate, are headlining Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is currently in production in Los Angeles.

Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Austin Butler and more are also starring in Tarantino’s ninth film.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is opening summer 2019.

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