LOS ANGELES – Mel Gibson, who reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks during a 2006 drunken-driving arrest, is producing a film about the life of Jewish hero Judah Maccabee.

Gibson’s publicist, Alan Nierob, said Friday that Gibson is working on a deal with Warner Bros. to develop the film through his company, Icon Productions. What Gibson’s exact role will be — whether he might direct or even star in the film — hasn’t been determined.

“Warner Bros. would like him to direct,” Nierob said. “He is the first choice for the studio to direct it, but until there’s a deal in place and a script that’s finished, it will be his choice as to whether to direct it or not.”

Joe Eszterhas of “Basic Instinct” and “Flashdance” fame is writing the script. No timetable is in place for it to be completed and for production to begin.

But Gibson’s involvement — in any form — with bringing Maccabee’s story to the screen has angered some Jewish leaders. Maccabee, seen as one of Jewish history’s greatest warriors, helped inspire the celebration of Hanukkah.

“As a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, Judah Maccabee deserves better,” Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said: “Casting him (Gibson) as a director or perhaps as the star of (a film about) Judah Maccabee is like casting (Bernard) Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. It’s simply an insult to Jews.”

Nierob, the publicist for Gibson, declined to respond to the backlash from Jewish leaders.

Nominated actress won’t attend Emmys

LOS ANGELES — Gwyneth Paltrow says she was “totally thrilled” to be nominated for an Emmy for her “Glee” guest star role as free-spirited substitute teacher Holly Holliday, but she won’t be at the ceremony this weekend where the winner will be announced.

The 38-year-old actress said she just reunited with her children in London and couldn’t return to Los Angeles for today’s Creative Arts Emmys, where TV guest roles are honored.

Meanwhile, Paltrow has been busy promoting her latest film, “Contagion,” in which she’s Patient No. 1 in a killer pandemic.

Father: Seizure to blame in diva’s untimely death

NEW YORK — Amy Winehouse’s father says he believes she died after suffering a seizure related to alcohol detoxification and “there was nobody there to rescue her.”

The soul diva, who had fought drug and alcohol problems for years, was found dead in bed at her London home July 23. Her family said toxicology reports indicated there was alcohol in her bloodstream, but it was unclear whether this had contributed to her death at the age of 27.

Mitch Winehouse said Friday during a taping of Anderson Cooper’s new syndicated talk show that traces of the prescription drug Librium, which is used to fight anxiety and the symptoms of withdrawal from alcoholism, were found in her body.

“Everything Amy did, she did to excess,” he said on the show, which is to air Monday. “She drank to excess and did detox to excess.”

He said he regretted that his daughter – whose most famous song, “Rehab,” has her answering “no, no, no” when told to go to rehab – was trying to kick alcohol without a doctor’s help. He said, “The periods of abstinence were becoming longer, and the periods of drinking were becoming shorter. It was heading in the right direction.”

The singer had had seizures during this period and would lose consciousness. Her father admitted he was speculating that this happened on the morning of her death and said he should find out more conclusively how she died when a full inquest into her death begins next month.