According to Variety, the Harry Potter director will develop the film with BBC Worldwide's Jane Tranter.
"We're looking at writers now," Yates confirmed. "We're going to spend two to three years to get it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."
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Yates explained that the film would not follow on from the TV show, currently starring Matt Smith as the Time Lord, and would instead take an entirely new approach to the classic sci-fi.
"Russell T Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch," he said.
"We want a British sensibility, but having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too."
Explaining his reasons behind joining the project, he added: "The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time."
A BBC spokesperson added: "A Doctor Who feature film remains in development with BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles.
"The project is unlikely to reach cinemas for several years and as yet there is no script, cast or production crew in place."
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Yates previously told Digital Spy that he would "certainly" work with Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint again.
Watch David Yates talk about the possibility of future collaborations with the Harry Potter actors at the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 premiere below: