At next year’s Comic-Con, if you see someone who’s a little short to be a stormtrooper, chances are it won’t be Elijah Wood.

Though the instantly recognizable Lord of the Rings star acknowledges he’d need a disguise to be able to walk the floor of the San Diego Convention Center without getting mobbed, he’s looking for something a little less bulky.

“A stormtrooper would be rad, but it would be really hot. It may not be very enjoyable,” Wood admits. “Maybe just a burglar or something. Something really basic so that I could hide my face.”

When Wood stopped by Comic-Con in July to promote his new animated film, 9, he didn’t get much opportunity to check out the scene — costume or no costume.

“After a full day of press, the last place I wanted to go is back to the Convention Center,” he says. “What I’d like to do is go on a year that I’m not working at the festival.” He’d better start planning his costume now, then.

In 9, Wood voices the latest of nine stitched dolls come to life that are all that’s left of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world. Though it’s not Wood’s first foray into animation, the film is a far cry from his last project, Happy Feet. And that’s just fine with him.

“I’m always just simply looking for something that is different from anything I’ve done. Both as an actor, to continue to challenge myself, but also in terms of storytelling and kinds of movies,” Wood says.

He also has a soft spot for animation in general, though he regrets the stigma the genre has stateside.

“It’s only in America that animation has been delineated as being only for kids. It’s a mentality. In Japan and in Europe, they make animated movies for everybody, to tell different kinds of stories.”

But having a variety of subject matter on your resume is one of the perks of being an industry veteran, which Wood finds himself as at quite an early age.

“It occurred to me this year that I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” he says. And sitting as a handy turning point in that 20-year career is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which he’s best known — and for which he still gets plenty of questions about. Not that it bothers him.

“I could sit around and talk about it for hours. I honestly don’t get tired of it,” he says.

For 9 photos, trailer and screen times, or to buy tickets, click here