Martin Freeman Has Left ‘The Hobbit’ — For Now

Don't worry — the young Bilbo Babbins will be back after he finishes shooting “Sherlock Holmes”

Martin Freeman, "The Hobbit's" young Bilbo Babbins, has left the set — but he'll be back.

Also back: Hugo Weaving and Bret McKenzie.

Before Freeman signed on to play Bilbo Babbins in Peter Jackson's movie, he committed to three 90-minute "Sherlock Holmes" movies. So he's headed off to make them, Ian McKellen — Gandalf himself — wrote on his blog today.

"No worries: he'll be back in Middle Earth after our first hiatus, during which Peter Jackson will have spare time to edit the scenes already completed," McKellen wrote. "The rest of the cast remains on duty for another few weeks, working on hobbit-less sections of the film. These involve dwarves of course but also elves, with Hugo Weaving back for a stretch as Lord Elrond."

Ian Holm plays the old Bilbo.

The Hobbit" is scheduled for release on Dec. 19, 2012, with a second film "Hobbit" film due about a year later.

Warner Bros. is fully financing the movie and will distribute the MGM co-production worldwide.

The movie also stars Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Christopher Lee.