Zain Al-Rafeea is a Syrian refugee that came to Lebanon in 2012 and lived with his parents in the slums of Beirut. He would work as a delivery boy for 5 years to help assist his family financially, all while battling through the apartheid laws that come along with being a refugee.
Lebanese director Nadine Labaki introduced the world to Zain in her 2018 drama film Capernaum. It tells the story of a 12-years old Lebanese boy (Zain) who runs away from his parents’ house because of child negligence and after they forced his little sister to marry an older man for money.
Zain, later on, commits a violent crime and gets sentenced to five years of prison. In his trial, he sues his parents because they gave birth to him.
Capernaum is the highest-grossing Middle-Eastern film of all time, after becoming a sleeper hit at the international box office with over $68 million worldwide, against a production budget of $4 million.
Its largest international market is China, where it became a surprise blockbuster with over $54 million. Capernaum was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
A lot of people worldwide met Zain’s story and his charismatic acting skills with great empathy and support, one of them was Oprah Winfrey who posted about the movie several times on her official Instagram page.
Zain even caught the attention of the biggest Hollywood actors and directors, with Salma Hayek teasing on her official Instagram account Zain’s casting in the 2020 MCU movie “The Eternals." Hayek captioned a photo of her and Zain saying: “Hanging with the Eternals’ youth."
Salma’s photo was reposted on Zain’s Instagram account, alongside other photos of him touring in Hollywood. Nonetheless, Marvel did not release an official statement that confirms it.
The film’s main cast has been unveiled, and it includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood like Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, and Gemma Chan. The Eternals tells the story of an immortal race called the Eternals, who are in a millennium-old conflict with the less-evolved Deviants, and their originators, the Celestials.
Even though nothing is officially confirmed yet, we believe there is no fire without smoke! And Salma Hayek's caption is revelatory. We will be awaiting an official statement from Zain confirming his role in the new MCU movie.