After ‘Avatar,’ I want to do something a lot smaller,said James Cameron to THR on Thursday.

‘Smaller’ + Cameron = does not compute, at least when talking about the man’s narrative features. His documentaries, while large on their own scale, have never had the epic impact of his dramatic work. Cue a distinct lack of surprise, then, when Cameron talks about merging the two worlds. (On a scale smaller than that of The Abyss.)

What may be next for Cameron, then, is The Dive, a true story about the romance between controversial Cuban free diver Francisco “Pipin” Ferreras and Frenchwoman Audrey Mestre. Under his guidance, Mestre became a free diver who broke several world records but died in 2002 while competing. Sounds too close to Luc Besson’s diving movie for comfort, albeit without all the silly dolphin crap.

While mentioning the love story aspect of the drama, Cameron highlighted the appeal of underwater 3D photography. With respect to making dramatic films in 3D, he said it might foster “the kind of uncomfortable feeling that people like in a movie theater; they feel like they are being challenged. It can actually be quite powerful.

If only I believed that were actually true. How does the man who made millions giving audiences what they wanted in T2 and Titanic think mainstream audiences like being challenged? Does he keep all his posters for The Abyss rolled up in storage?