A source confirms to PEOPLE that the actress has joined the cast of The Hills reboot. MTV later confirmed the news, too.
Though she never appeared on the original series, which aired for six seasons from 2006-2010, Barton, 32, has a special connection to the MTV show. At 17, she was catapulted to fame for her starring role as Marissa Cooper on Fox’s The O.C., which premiered in 2003 and became a cult phenomenon almost overnight. The O.C. inspired MTV’s Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, which eventually spun off into The Hills.
The Hills: New Beginnings was announced in August, when a handful of cast members reunited on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards. The revival, set to premiere in 2019, will reunite original cast members, alongside their children, friends and some new faces, and follow their personal and professional lives while living in Los Angeles.
Confirmed stars include Heidi and Spencer Pratt, Brody Jenner, Audrina Patridge, Whitney Port, Jason Wahler, Stephanie Pratt, Justin Bobbyand Frankie Delgado.
Missing in action? Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari.
“She’s in a different place in her life,” a source told PEOPLE of Conrad, 32, who has long closed the door on reality TV as she focuses on her family and multiple brands.
“But she wants everyone to enjoy themselves,” the source added. “She wishes everyone the best.”
As for Cavallari, 31? An insider told PEOPLE at least one reason for her absence is that the reboot would conflict with her current contract at E!, which recently announced a second season of Very Cavallari, a reality show following her life with husband Jay Cutler in Nashville as she manages her brand, Uncommon James.
“She can’t do the show because she has a contract with E!” the source said. “But she’s still close with Heidi and Spencer and is excited for them.”
The Hills: New Beginnings is slated to premiere in 2019.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE
- Aurelie Corinthios, Aili Nahas, and Chelsea White