Peter Jackson explains how The Hobbit is different from LOTR

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Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

You don't have to look much further than the numerous trailers for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit to see that it definitely has the same vibe as his Lord of the Rings trilogy. But don't be fooled—Jackson says the two absolutely feature some major differences.

The biggest difference? The stakes. Since J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, Jackson said the film takes on a very different tone because the whole world isn't on the line this time around.

Instead of an epic battle between good and evil, it's about the fate of a small group out hunting for gold and fighting a dragon.

Jackson explained to Digital Spy:

"The way that I went into it when I got involved as a director was that I'd go into it as exactly the same filmmaker that did Lord of the Rings, like I'm returning to Middle Earth. In the sense that it's a real place, I'm there to tell another story, but the characters within the story, as well as the story itself - since you're dealing with 13 dwarves - it gives you a different tone and a different feel in places than Lord of the Rings did.

Lord of the Rings was incredibly good and evil, black and white. The world was at stake, Sauron. It was pretty basic, and the tension that was involved in the story. Whereas this one has slightly more of a fairy tale quality, slaying dragons and going for gold. Just trying to get gold out of the mountain.

The elements of the story give you room to change the tone slightly, but in terms of the look and the feel and the filmmaking style I wanted to keep it pretty consistent and keep everything feeling like it's the same world."

Makes sense, and despite the fact that the standalone novel is being stretched out into a trilogy of films, we're glad to hear Jackson isn't trying to ratchet the stakes up to a ridiculous level.

What do you think? Can The Hobbit capture the magic but avoid being a retread?

(Via Digital Spy)