Martin Freeman and Peter Jackson at
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Peter Jackson and New Line president Toby Emmerich were feeling a heavy dose of nostalgia at Monday night’s premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” at the Dolby Theatre.

They both allowed that there was more than a passing similarity to 2002′s “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” Both films were based on J.R.R. Tolkien novels and both were the middle films of a trilogy.

“I got a very similar feeling from watching this tonight as I did back then with ‘The Two Towers,’” Emmerich admittted. “There was a lot of action with a cliffhanger ending. It also reminded me a lot of ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ which was also a second film in a trilogy.”

During the after-party, Jackson confessed that he was somewhat relieved.

“This was the first time that I’d seen it with an audience, so it was great that the audience reacted the way they did,” he noted. “It was very, very pleasing.”

Jackson also was full of praise for Emmerich, after more than a decade of collaboration.

“Toby is a geek, a ‘Lord of the Rings’ geek and he knows these stories very very well,” he added. “It’s great to work with studio executives that I know and have really become friends with.”

Also in attendance were castmembers Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, “Rings” alum Sean Astin, screenwriter Philippa Boyens, MGM’s Gary Barber and WB’s Dan Fellman, Sue Kroll and Kevin Tsujihara.

Ed Sheeran also performed at the party, his song “I See Fire” is featured on the “Hobbit” soundtrack.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more