The "Smokey and the Bandit" icon had agreed to take on a small role in Tarantino's star-studded comedy drama, and had been keeping busy learning his lines in the days leading up to his fatal heart attack in September 2018.
Although Reynolds never actually got to shoot his scenes as real-life ranch owner George Spahn, the director knows the 82-year-old actor was looking forward to being back on the set of a major movie project.
"I got a chance to rehearse with him," Tarantino shared on U.S. TV show "CBS Sunday Morning". "I'm officially the last role he played because he came to the script reading [sic]. So, that was his last acting."
"The night he died, what he was doing before he passed on was he was running lines with his assistant," the filmmaker continued. "That's like sad and beautiful at the same time. He was so happy. I can honestly say he died happy. I am not saying he died happy because of me, but he was definitely happy when he passed on."
During the chat, Tarantino was asked if he has a sense of what his 10th film is going to be. To the question, he responded, "No. I don't have a clue. If I had to guess, I would think 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' is sort of the epic at the end of the career. If I had to guess, I would think the 10th film would be more epilogue-y."