Okay, no need to panic — Freeman's gone for now, not for good. McKellen provided a lengthy "Hobbit" update on his blog today, explaining that the man behind Bilbo Baggins has left the set to resume work on a batch of "Sherlock Holmes" telemovies. Once he's finished with those projects, he'll return to Middle-Earth to finish out his crucial role on "The Hobbit."
If your stress levels aren't down yet, how about this nugget of goodness: Hugo Weaving is indeed returning to "The Hobbit" after all.
The on-screen wizard writes that despite Freeman's current absence, "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." That certainly explains what Weaving was doing on "The Hobbit" set recently, doesn't it?
McKellen wouldn't elaborate much more on Weaving's return to Middle-Earth, though he did put the spotlight on "Flight of the Conchords" frontman Bret McKenzie. The artist formerly known in "Lord of the Rings" lore as Figwit (or, as McKellen explains, "Frodo Is Great! Who Is That?") appears in the two-part "Hobbit" as an elf named Lindir, which means "singer" in elvish.
"Tolkien has plenty of songs in 'The Hobbit' but the script doesn't indicate that Lindir will be singing any of them," the actor said of McKenzie's part. "If, as he promises, Bret makes a Conchord feature film ere long, I shall angle for a non-speaking part as BIGWIT. ('Bret Is...' etc.)"
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