Warner Bros. has decided to pull the plug on the adaptation of the comic book series "Elfquest"

Wendy Pini, co-creator of the comics along with Richard Pini, says that the upcoming box office juggernaut of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is the reason why.

Pini's official "Elfquest" Facebook page says that the studio has bowed out of the potentially pricey adaptation in order to avoid competition with Peter Jackson's two-part "Lord of the Rings" followup.

"After close to four years of suspense, and no longer than four years of your much-appreciated interest and support, the word has come down from Warner Bros. And the word is 'no'," she says. "Their simple explanation is that they don't want to compete with 'The Hobbit'. This was a possibility, among several, that we were prepared for. It is a relief, at last, you know."

The 1978 comic book series "Elfquest" depicts a band of elves called the Wolfriders, who walk a fantasy landscape of the Earth-like planet Adobe populated with all sorts of creatures for them to befriend or oppose. A cult hit, "Elfquest" spawned a number of other comics and was going to be turned into a '90s animated series, only for the deal to fall through.

The movie version has long been in development at Warner Bros., with writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber (who directed "Dodgeball" and wrote "Tower Heist") attached to the project.

"The Hobbit" opens December 14, 2012, and stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberpatch, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee and Elijah Wood.