Tengtu Huk was developed during the script development process of Raiders of the Lost Ark. As the story for what became the first installment of the Indiana Jones film series entered into development, the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra was initially conceived as being in two parts, with one half belonging to Marion Ravenwood, the film's deutagonist, and the other half belonging to Tengtu Hok, a Chinese warlord settled on Shangain. As evidenced by the behind-the-scenes book The Complete Making of Indiana Jones, Tengtu Hok was present in the first three drafts from the film, written by Lawrence Kasdan in the late 1970s to 1980.
Similar to the finished film, the story was set in 1936 and revolved about the American archaeologist Indiana Jones searching for the Ark of the Covenant in the behalf of the US government before the Nazis can do it for Adolf Hitler. However, instead of straight going to Nepal to ask Marion Ravenwood for the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra, Indiana Jones would first go to Shangai to obtain one half of the headpiece, as the other half was with Marion but this half was in possession of Tengtu Huk, a renowned Chinese warlord known due his passion for antiquities and his connections with the Japanese. Knowing that Hok will not give away the headpiece so easily, Indy sneaks off into Hok's museum, which was annexed to his palace. Meanwhile, Hok receives three German agents who wanted to negotiate with him the price of the headpiece.
However, Hok and his guests are alarmed upon hearing Jones fighting against a Japanese samurai on the museum, a fight which culminats with the samurai's death at Jones' hands while the Mercedes-Benz limousine in which the German agents had arrived gets blown up. Breaking the glass containing the half of the heapiece, Jones tries to leave only for Hok to arrive with a Thompson submachine gun after locking the German agents outside, spraying his museum with bullets. However, Indy goes to use a gong to protect himself from Hok's firing until he reaches the window and makes his way off the palace by jumping through it and then leaves the scene with Kehoe's help. However, it later turns out that Victor Lovar, Jones' rival, is in possession of a replica of Hok's Staff of Ra segment, as the warlod had made several copies of the relic.
However, as the story developed, by the fourth draft of the screenplay it was decided to not have the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra divided in two halves and rather than owning one half, a decision which made it into the finished version of the film. In the finished project, Marion Ravenwood had the entire headpiece, leading Jones to just go to Nepal after being given the task of retrieving the Ark by Colonel Musgrove and Major Eaton. However, the idea of using a gong to escape from an skirmish in Shangai would later go to be used in the opening sequence of the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. However, Tengtu Hok wasn't kept and instead replaced by Lao Che and his sons.
- Although Tengtu Hok was excluded from the finished project, the idea of a Chinese warlord in possession of the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra was later intended to be used in the comic book Indiana Jones and the Lost Horizon, which was to be published by Dark Horse Comics, which had the license for Indiana Jones comics. Unfortunately, low sales caused the comic book line to be cancelled before the issue could be made, but it's unknown if the warlord would have been still identified as Tengtu Hok or not.