In 1977, George Lucas was on vacation in Hawaii with his friend, Steven Spielberg. Lucas had just come off the massive (and for him, unanticipated) success of Star Wars, while Spielberg was putting the finishing touches on his own iconic sci-fi film, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Spielberg shared that he was considering directing a James Bond film (The tenth film, Roger Moore’s The Spy Who Loved Me, opened later that Summer as well). However, Lucas had another idea in mind.
Spielberg, Lucas, Ford and Capshaw on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Spielberg would later marry Capshaw in 1991.
Drawing from the same pulp roots of Star Wars, Indiana Jones of course became a four (and soon, fifth) film series featuring the adventures of a tenured archaeologist who searches for rare artifacts-sometimes with supernatural elements. While this might seem quite different from a British government agent, there’s still a lot of Bond in Indy’s DNA-including an actual Bond.
Both “Raiders” and “Temple” start with an adventure in progress, only partially related to the current adventure (Crusade has a flashback, and Indy 4’s opening sequence is related to the plot of the whole film)-something the Bond films likewise do with their ‘teasers’, some of which have something to do with the rest of the movie , some that don’t (Like for instance the Aerostar jet sequence from Octopussy,) or some in the middle. In “Raiders” we see this with Indy searching for a Hovito idol, which he is forced to surrender to rival Belloq. Although, in both cases, while Bond usually completes the mission in the teaser with success (with a few exceptions), Indy badly bungles in both cases, forced to make a run for it from the Hovitos, and in “Doom’s” case, he unwittingly is poisoned and escapes onboard a cargo plane owned by the bad guy. Oops.
In addition, Indy’s white tuxedo suit at the beginning of “Temple of Doom” is nearly identical to Sean Connery’s Bond in the opening sequence of Goldfinger.
Daniel Craig would later wear a similar suit in SPECTRE.
As for similarities in the plots, both film series of course utilize a lot of exotic locations, although those set in Indiana Jones hark back to the 30’s (and in Crystal Skull, the 50s), where Bond is always present day. It’s worth noting in the first Indiana Jones film, that like Bond, Indy is given an assignment by the government to recover the Ark, so in a sense, he’s their agent.
There’s also a different female love interest in every movie, with the exception of “Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” which brought back Marion. Willie, from Temple Of Doom, wasn’t exactly popular with fans; likewise, Elsa from Last Crusade turned out to be a villain and died. So naturally, Indy once again returned to Marion (With whom he found out he had a son, “Mutt” Williams, AKA Henry Jones III).
Bond did get married too, but his ended in tragedy (as did that of his CIA friend Felix Leiter) as his wife was shot and killed by SPECTRE in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” . Although Marion’s role is yet to be determined in the fifth film, I don’t think they’ll go that dark route.
Then of course, we’ve got the big one-Sean Connery was cast as Indiana Jones’s father Henry Jones (Indiana’s real name is actually Henry Jones Jr.) in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a sort of nod by Spielberg and Lucas to their original conversation (Also, Spielberg wanted to direct Connery in his hypothetical Bond film). Although Henry is quite different from Bond in pretty much every way, there’s a bit of a hint of his prowess with women.