Farewell To Jeremy Renner’s App, Which Was A Thing That Actually Existed

08 September 2019
Jeremy Renner, Apps
Image: Getty

Suppose he finally Renn out of luck

It’s a sad day for fans of Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner. The hugely popular star announced that his app, appropriately titled Jeremy Renner Official, is shutting down for good.

“The app has just jumped the shark,” Renner wrote in a post on the app itself. “To all the super-fans who have supported me with your words or encouragement, amazing art, stories and time shared on the app, a genuine THANK YOU.”

Shortly after the post, which bore the banner “Goodbye” and was signed simply “JR”, the app was taken offline. What’s that, you might be asking yourself, Jeremy Renner had an app?! Well yes, he certainly did.

Launched in partnership with Singapore-based company Escapex – which calls itself the “leading provider of personally owned platforms” and has developed literally dozens of fan-based apps for everyone from Dita Von Teese to Bollywood stars, influencers and US comedian Chris D’Elia – Jeremy Renner Official was released in March 2017.

Early reviews were, shall we say, mixed. While some members of the RenHive, the actual name Renner fans apparently call themselves, were clearly loving the experience, other more objective voices were not quite as glowing.

“Looks like it was designed in early 2011,” wrote one rather underwhelmed reviewer, “by someone who hates Jeremy Renner.”

Whether or not the designer liked Mr Renner is still in some dispute. But what’s clear is that many, many people do. Jeremy Renner’s official Instagram account, @Renner4Real, has 14.4 million followers.

Renner’s app operated essentially just like Instagram, but if the only person you followed was @Renner4Real. There, team Renner would posts things such as a photo of him clutching binoculars with the caption: “Have a rockin weekend everyone!!! What’s the plan ??”.

To the untrained eye, such updates might have looked incredibly banal, but to the RenHive, they were clearly a source of valuable insights into the life and times of their favourite Hollywood action hero.

But it was not to be. In his farewell message, Renner placed the blame on “clever individuals” who were “able to manipulate ways to impersonate me and others within the app”.

Scary stuff. It seems trolls had set up fan profiles in which they posed as Renner himself, as well as Jeffrey Epstein, OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony, who was notoriously accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter in 2008.

What’s more, a flaw in the app’s design meant that any push notification coming from the Jeremy Renner Official (the app) appeared to be coming from Jeremy Renner (the actual man).

As comedian Stefan Heck confessed in an article for Deadspin earlier this year, this meant any comments on Renner’s posts were seemingly made by Renner himself, when push notifications arrived on users’ phones. So a notification might appear on your phone screen saying something like: “Jeremy Renner: this is a great photo!”

Renner clearly wasn’t impressed. “What was supposed to be a place for fans to connect with each other,” he wrote, “has turned into a place that is everything I detest.”

So the app is gone. But the man lives on. And so does his Instagram feed, which is still a rich source of all things Renner. In fact, his 14.4 million fans are not simply treated to updates on Renner’s work in blockbusters such as the Avengers or Mission Impossible franchises. They also get to enjoy his budding music career.

Yes, that’s right. In fact, so seriously does Renner take his music that casual observers might well be forgiven for assuming the man is best known for his work not on screen, but on stage.

His Instagram, whose profile photo is a black-and-white shot of him gripping a microphone like an '80s rock god, is filled with photos of Renner performing, strumming guitars, or hitting the recording studio – footage of which must truly be seen to be believed.

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It seems Hollywood’s busiest man has somehow found time to release not only an app, but a whole series of rock songs that have clocked up more than four million streams on Spotify.

Each single bears a striking image, most often of Renner looking pensive, as well as a catchy title such as “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”, “Main Attraction” – the video for which also features New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi – and “Heaven Don’t Have a Name”. The latter of which, besides simply not being true (Heaven does have a name; it’s ‘Heaven’), is surprisingly bearable.

It’s easy to mock. But we’re actually willing to give Renner a chance. For starters, he hasn’t even released a full album yet and it’s almost certain that he’ll prove himself a better musician than he was an app developer. And, of course, when it comes to actors trying their hands at music, it goes without saying that things could always be a lot worse.

Via GQ Australia