Richard Cameron is the supporting character turned antagonist in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society. Although he is absolutely insecure and treacherous in the final product, the film's ending originally intended for him to redeem himself in the eyes of his peers after his wrongdoings during the film's climax.
He was portrayed by Dylan Kussman in the final project.
Dead Poets Society
In the original script for the film, as John Keating prepares to leave Welton Academy for good given his "involvement" in Neil Perry's suicide, Richard Cameron sees how Todd Anderson and his fellow members of the Dead Poets Society decide to stand up against Headmaster Nolan to honor Keating's teachings and convince him that it wasn't his fault that Neil killed himself despite what Neil's dad says. Inspired by his former friends' act of defiance against Nolan's authority, Cameron decides to break the rules and stands on his desk as well to honor Keating. It can be assumed that by doing this, Richard was forgiven by his friends for his previous act of treachery or parted with them in good terms.
However, while shooting the film's ending, Dylan Kussman approached director Peter Weir and told him that it would be out of character for Cameron to stand on his desk, likely because throughout the film it's shown that Cameron lives his education by the book and doesn't want to break any rule to not get expelled from Welton Academy. Although Kussman didn't expect Weir to change his mind, Weir agreed with him and Cameron's redemption was dropped in favor of him remaining seated yet surprised once his former friends stand up against Nolan to honor Keating.
- Given that his intended redemption was ultimately dropped, Richard Cameron has the distinction of being one of the two former members of the Dead Poets Society to not stand on his desk at the film's ending, the other is Charlie Dalton, who gets expelled for hitting Cameron due to blaming Keating for Neil's death.
- Unlike Cameron however, Dalton's fate is more of a good intention since he refuses to betray Keating's trust when the teacher was falsely accused. Thus his expulsion was more of a good thing than the other way around, which allowed him to become more human outside of the school, and is technically still a DPS member at heart.