I can't recall where I heard this, but wasn't Indiana Jones loosely based on Tintin? Spielberg wrote the movies, or co-wrote them, and he's a Tintin fan. I wonder if this is related.
The answer to your questions is probably "no", for all cases.
It was George Lucas who initially came up with the character and idea for Indiana Jones, and co-wrote the story for Raiders
with Philip Kaufman; Lawrence Kasdan wrote the script - no direct Spielberg involvement. He was obviously in communication with people involved, and may have thrown things into the mix; however, he's not directly involved at the get-go.
What Steven Spielberg did
contribute for certain was the name Jones
, as Lucas had originally named the character Indiana Smith
. Indiana, by the way, was the name of a Lucas-family dog, whose habit of sitting in the front passenger seat of the car also inspired the creation of Chewbacca the Wookiee in Star Wars
(and the name wookiee
came from a line of background dialogue in THX1138
, inserted and ad libbed by actor and voice-over artist Terry McGovern, which in itself was a sly reference to his friend Ralph Wookie...). But enough of the trivia...!
George Lucas first told Spielberg of the project on the beach in Hawaii, while they were on a holiday break, prior to the release of Star Wars
(making it c.1977). How much Spielberg contributed at that point - other than the name change - could be open to debate, and there are mentions of notes being made between them.
However Spielberg doesn't
get a credit for story or script, and is never
listed as a co-creator of the character, which goes to Lucas and Kaufman. It may sound trivial, but in Hollywood, the credit is everything. There's no reason why, that I can see, if he was
involved heavily in the creation that he wouldn't
be included in the credits as a co-creator.
Spielberg really only got involved in directing Raiders
(1979), a large-scale, WWII-set comedy he made, famously blew its budget and then flopped - nearly ending his career. He was seen as un-reliable, and fallible, where he'd once been seen as indomitable.
Thus George Lucas hired him at a point when the studios were not certain about Spielberg's ability to helm a major picture; they might not otherwise have let him be employed at all, had not Lucas spoken up for him, and guaranteed that the production would not be allowed to spiral out of control as 1941
had done, and that he - Lucas - would personally cover any costs incurred if Spielberg did so.
George Lucas acted as producer, Spielberg gave his word to behave, and then proceeded to bring the film in in less than the estimated time, and on budget, and the rest is history.
There has been a long standing rumour that perhaps two sequences in the series were originally to have been included in a Tintin
film (sometimes known as Tintin and the Lost City of Ivory
) which Spielberg wanted to make, but which didn't come to fruition.
It isn't possible to say exactly how true, false or somewhere in between this is, or if it were two scenes, one or none. As it would have been an original story, not based on any of the books, it isn't possible to say without additional information.
The scenes in question are alleged to be the booby-trapped temple escape and the rolling boulder in the initial sequence in Raiders
, and/or the escape from "Club ObiWan" in Temple of Doom
, using the gong as a shield.
You'll notice that both involve rolling objects, so it is quite possible someone got their wires crossed at some point and mistook mention of one for the other.
The fact that Spielberg has always said he didn't know of Tintin until after he made Raiders
suggests that the story of the boulder roll being a Tintin hold-over is not only less than likely, it's impossible, as the dates would be wrong.
known that the gong sequence was recycled from another script, either a draft for Radiers
or an earlier version of Temple
(now I can't remember), where it was to have allowed for an escape from a museum. As it's a kinetic, visual set-piece, it is quite possible that it's the sort of thing which a director might look for in a script, and suggest if he found it lacking and saw a moment where such a scene could be inserted.
It's possible that this re-use from an earlier script inspired the notion that it came from the Tintin
script; perhaps it was just an idea from another story entirely, which Spielberg loved so much that he incorporated it into the series anyway, I don't know.
But anyway, no, as far as can be told, Tintin wasn't
the inspiration for Indy, although he might have later had a tangential influence on the series.