Jeremy Renner’s app was too good to be true
The “Avengers: Endgame” actor’s app is one of the strangest stories of the summer. It will be dearly missed.
Sep. 18, 2019
The summer of Jeremy Renner has officially come to an end. After appearing in the highest-grossing movie of all time, a Jeep commercial campaign and releasing some songs that sound like Jackson Maine from “A Star is Born,” the Renner-aissance has come to a close. Recently, the two-time Oscar-nominee announced that his app, simply titled “Jeremy Renner” would be shutting down after it “jumped the shark.”
You’re probably thinking, “Wait, Jeremy Renner had an app?” This is a perfectly reasonable response. Few movie stars and Oscar-winners have their own apps centered around them and their world. Renner, most famous for playing the oft-ridiculed Avenger, Hawkeye, seems like an odd choice to lead the app revolution.
Initially, the app started as a fan community for Renner’s small but passionate fanbase. Upon opening it, one would see a design resembling Instagram circa 2012, with just one catch: the entire feed is centered around Renner.
In addition to its central feed, the Jeremy Renner app sent out bizarre, seemingly random notifications. On Wednesdays (or sometimes on Thursdays, for some reason) the app would send out a push notification reading “Happy Rennsday!”
Like many other modern apps, Jeremy Renner also offered in-app purchases, called “stars.” Their purpose was … unclear, to say the least. Basically, the more stars you purchased, the more likely your comments were to be noticed by Renner himself, or an intern commenting under his name. You would also be ranked higher on the app’s “Fanboard” that ranks users according to how many stars they’ve purchased.
Back in 2017, The Ringer reported on ongoing drama on the app, as Renner’s fanbase was divided over various issues — a contest to visit Renner on set was called “rigged,” and other fans believed the app was briefly shut down not for updates, as the app’s developers claimed, but to erase any critical comments. The great Renner schism of 2017 differs from the recent chaos that erupted on the app, in that dedicated fans weren’t responsible, but rather outsiders attempting to unleash mayhem.
The end of an era began in August of this year when a post from Renner asked users what their plans to have a “rockin weekend” [sic] were. One user, Deadspin contributor Stefan Heck commented “I will be watching porno on my computer.” After this, Renner, or someone pretending to be him, responded with “Nasty!! Not Cool.”
Now it’s somewhat unclear what happened from this point on, but essentially, everything collapsed, with people on the app pretending to be Casey Anthony, among other things. It was only a matter of time before Renner himself posted a message on the app about how it had to be taken down, but not before he sent out a notification saying “App coming down very soon.”
I downloaded the app after being notified of it by comedian Jamie Loftus, who repeatedly posted screenshots of the seemingly random notifications she received from the app on Twitter throughout the summer. Initially, the app’s bewildering notifications, combined with its confusing existence in the first place, made it a good source of entertainment, and something I could rely on for laughs.
That being said, now that the app has come down, I can’t help but feel somewhat complicit in the downfall of perhaps the last bastion of sincerity on the internet. I am not by any means an avid fan of Renner’s work, as I simply downloaded the app for a good laugh, not because I wanted to meet fellow Renner fans.
Like Four Loko, MoviePass and other fads that were too good to be true, the reign of Jeremy Renner’s app had to come to an end eventually. It was strange, endearingly sincere and it will be missed. Even though it’s essentially been rendered useless by its creator and namesake, I won’t be deleting it from my phone.
Edited by Janae McKenzie | firstname.lastname@example.org