PARK CITY, Utah — Despite all odds, Frodo Baggins is back in the Shire ... or was back, rather.
Elijah Wood reprises his iconic role as the ring-bearing Frodo in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," serving as a book-ending character in scenes that bridge the gap between director Peter Jackson's latest trip to Middle-earth and his previous one in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Wood's role is a less prominent one in "The Hobbit," so much so that with 100 days left of filming, his work on the film is finished.
"I had my revisitation rights, and now they've been revoked," he joked when MTV News caught up with him at the Sundance Film Festival.
Though Wood's return to the realm of dwarves, elves and men has reached its conclusion, the actor spent enough time on the New Zealand set to get a real sense of what "The Hobbit" is going for. Specifically, he spoke to the fact that Jackson's latest adaptation stays true to the lighter tone of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, largely because "the stakes aren't as high" as they were in "Lord of the Rings."
"It's more whimsical, magical, and a little bit more comedic," Wood said. "The dwarves are funny and they're kind of bumbling, and they're really playing a lot of that aspect up."
But even if the situation in "The Hobbit" isn't as dangerous as the world-ending scenario posed in "Rings," Wood said Jackson has managed to weave a sense of "impending doom ... into the construct of the piece."
"There is gravity," he insisted, "but there's a lot of fun as well."
For his own part, Wood is just grateful that he got a chance to step back into Frodo's furry feet one last time, an experience he likened to time travel.
"It felt like stepping back into time," he said of reprising Frodo. "We shot some stuff in Hobbiton, and the last time I was in Hobbiton, I was 19 ... and I'm 30 now. It was a very bizarre step through a portal into time. But it was beautiful. It was great to be a part of it."
The 2012 Sundance Film Festival is officially under way, and the MTV Movies team is on the ground reporting on the hottest stars and the movies everyone will be talking about in the year to come. Keep it locked with MTV Movies for everything there is to know about Sundance.