Jeremy Renner puts out so much ridiculous stuff that his now-defunct app—a social media platform for Rennerheads to connect with one another—has become little more than a footnote in his career. Caroline Goldfarb and Sarah Ramos haven’t forgotten it, though. Far from it. The two are so fascinated by the late app that they’ve created a six-part podcast series called The Renner Files devoted to thoroughly exploring the software (and some of Renner’s) history.
Described as “a new kind of true crime podcast... that’s not about true crime at all,” The Renner Files looks to answer the question of why, exactly, “Oscar-nominated actor Jeremy Renner” had an app in the first place and what its creation says “about the dangerous side of celebrity fandom, the ethics of audience exploitation, the celebrity influencer complex, and the destructive power of ironic internet comedy.”
A preview of the show includes a dramatic reading of Renner’s eulogy to his app, an outline of the kind of topics that will be covered by the series, and an excerpt of Seth Rogen laughing like his throat is filled with oatmeal after describing how Renner prepared to play Jeffrey Dahmer back in 2002 by “masturbating to surgical handbooks.” (Stefan Heck, who documented for posterity how easy it is to destroy a celebrity app by posting status updates that include the word “porno,” is also heard explaining his devious work.)
Obviously, the Renner app remains a captivating subject. It exerts a powerful enough pull on our minds that it’s inspired a Choose Your Own Adventure game in the past. Now, with hours of podcasts dedicated to exploring its irresistible influence, maybe the software’s curse can be brought into the daylight, demystified, and, we hope, exorcised once and for all.
The Renner Files debuts on Spotify on September 24th.
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